Speaking on the BBC’s Daily Politics this Friday about June’s snap election and her future at the leader of the party, Leanne Wood said she planned to remain at the head of her party. Responding to questions about her future – based off an unnamed AM’s quote – Wood declared she would not respond to “anonymous comments.”
She then said that:
“My party is behind me, and I am going to be Plaid Cymru’s first minister candidate in 2021. If any of my members have got any problems with any aspect of the way that we run our party my door is always open.”
That all said, 2021 is four years away, and anything could happen in that time. Who could replace Wood if she steps down before then?
7th – Dai Lloyd
- Assembly Member from 1999 to 2011, and from 2016 to present.
- PaddyPower odds: 16/1.
6th – Bethan Jenkins
- Assembly Member since 2011.
- Odds: 12/1
5th – Neil McEvoy
- Assembly Member since 2016.
- Odds: 12/1.
- Note: although he is the fifth favourite to replace Wood, he is currently suspended from the Plaid group in Cardiff.
4th – Elin Jones
Jones has been an AM since its creation in 1999, and has served as its presiding officer since 2016. Could she be the next Plaid leader? The betting firm PaddyPower provides odds of 10/1 for a Jones leadership.
Jones certainly has the ambition to lead as she stood for the party’s top job in 2012, but lost to Leanne Wood.
Elin Jones (@ElinCeredigion) October 12, 2017
3rd – Simon Thomas
Thomas comes in as the third favourite to replace Wood. He has been an AM since 2011, and was previously an MP for the UK-wide parliament. According to the BBC, he stood to be leader back in 2012, but quit the contest in favour of Elin Jones.
The odds of him replacing Wood: 8/1.
2nd – Rhun ap Iorweth
Iorweth is currently the second favourite to take over from Wood, according to PaddyPower. Before entering politics, he worked for the BBC, and became a Welsh Assembly Member at a by-election in 2013. He won the seat with almost 60% of the vote. According to the BBC, Ioweth said in August this that he would consider a leadership bid should Wood step down.
His odds with PaddyPower: 15/8.
1st – Adam Price
Price is currently the clear favourite to replace Wood should she step down, according to PaddyPower, who put his odds at 6/4. Price has been an AM since 2010, and previously served as an MP from 2001 to 2010. A Wales Online 2016 article suggests that he “outshines” Leanne Wood. Could he be the person to take Plaid from opposition back to government?
Plaid’s recent performances:
In 2016, Plaid Cymru increased their vote share in both the constituency and regional lists, and gained one AM. Plaid and UKIP were in fact the only two parties to make progress at that election. More recently, at the 2017 snap election, Britain’s two main parties increased their vote shares in Wales. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour gained over 12 percentage points. However, while Plaid did lose votes, the party won one seat from the Liberal Democrats.
Overall, the party’s performance in recent years has been far from ideal. Whenever Leanne Wood is replaced, the party will still have a mountain to climb.
The full list of PaddyPower odds can be accessed here. All odds are accurate as of 20th October.